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Devastated Kilcummin locals plan to flight parish priest loss



DISMAY: John Foley and Pat O'Sullivan pictured with over 100 Kilcummin parishioners on Tuesday afternoon, who came out to protest their anger at the shock news that the community will no longer have a parish priest. Photo: Michelle Crean


“It’s taking the heart out of our parish”

By Michelle Crean

Kilcummin locals who are “utterly devastated” following news this week that they’re to lose their priest – are planning a public meeting tonight (Friday) in a bid to fight the move.

Locals learned the news, which they said has left them “deeply shocked” and “bewildered”, at the weekly 7.30pm Mass on Saturday night, with the message again relayed at the 9am and 11.15am Masses on Sunday morning by Bishop Ray Browne that Fr Eamon Mulvihill, will be moving on - with no priest to replace him.

Some of the 100 locals, who met on Tuesday afternoon outside the church, told the Killarney Advertiser that the news is a devastating blow to their large community of approximately 2,000 people, which is 11 miles long and five miles wide, hasthree national schools, two nursing homes with up to 100 elderly people – saying they are one of the best parishes in the county for church collections.

Some who were visibly angry, told the Killarney Advertiser that the Bishop casually and quietly mentioned the loss of the priest during his sermon.

Fr Eamon, locals explained, was brought into the parish two years ago and was only getting to know the parishioners, and also brought a lot of the young people back to the church.

They say they are also confused with the news which is “a bolt out of the blue” as the presbytery recently got new windows and doors.

At tonight’s meeting, which is expected to attract hundreds of locals, they will discuss their next move in the community hall at 9pm.

“We’ve nothing against anyone, we just want to fight our corner,” Pat O’Sullivan told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We heard it last Saturday night. The Bishop came and announced it at Mass, and it’s left the whole community in shock. We know to look at our parish priest that he is just devastated - the parish is numb.”

John Foley added that it’s an awful attack on the parish.

“People are disappointed and upset - they’re in shock.”

Locals Dermot and Bernie Lenihan said they are just bewildered with the news.

“We’re devastated. We’re from Kilcummin for generations - it’s going to lose its identity.”

A spokesperson from the Diocese of Kerry said six of the 53 parishes are already without a resident priest.

“The retirement of three priests this summer means that two more parishes will be without a resident priest. These two parishes are Castlemaine in the Killorglin Pastoral Area and Kilcummin in the Killarney Pastoral Area. In each of the two parishes a ‘Planning Meeting’ open to all from the parish is being arranged.”

A full list of changes in each diocese will be released on the Diocese of Kerry website today (Friday).




Carols by Candlelight

    St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas […]






St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas 2023, December17, at 7.00pm. Admission is free.

Ten Choirs from Killarney parish will join together and sing some of the world’s most beloved Christmas carols.
The carol service is directed by accomplished Musician and Choral Director, Paula Gleeson. Originally from Cork, her family have been involved in all aspects of choral and church music for 50 years.

“This is the best experience as director, working with Fr. Kieran O’Brien, and St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir, I get to work with so many talented people in Killarney. The commitment of Teachers, Principals, and the hundreds of students from the Primary and Secondary Schools is inspiring. The generosity of our sponsors, who were so willing to contribute has helped to make this night a reality. We are all so truly grateful,” she said.

Choirs include:
St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Choir, organist Anita Lakner
Holy Cross Mercy School Choir
St. Oliver’s Primary School Choir
St. Brigid’s Secondary School Choir
St. Brendan’s Secondary School Choir
Killarney Harmonisers
Killarney Community College School Choir
Lissivigeen National School Choir
Gaelscoil Faithleann School Choir
Presentation Monastery School Choir

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The same but different – A tribute to three great Irish musicians



Driving home from work last Friday, tributes for Shane McGowan were pouring out across the radio stations and while listening in, I got a strong sense of déjà vu.

It was only a few months earlier that we got the sad news that the talented Aslan front man Christy Dingham had passed away, and a short few weeks after that – Sinéad O’Connor.  The loss of three iconic Irish musicians that left music fans across the country reeling.

When I think about each artist individually, their personalities couldn’t be more different. Yet, for days after the passing of the Pogues frontman, I found myself wondering why I was so drawn to all three.

And then, over the weekend I stumbled across a completely unrelated article which led with a headline:

“In a year dominated by artificial intelligence, deepfakes, and disingenuity, “authentic” has somehow emerged as Merriam-Webster’s word for 2023.”

And there was my answer. The one characteristic that embodied all three of these great Irish musicians.

It was my mother that first introduced me to Aslan’s music. She grew up during their peak and loved all sorts of rock music. I regularly watch their Vicar Street performances back on YouTube and still get mesmerised by Christy’s intense stage presence. Using elaborate hand gestures to evoke a greater meaning behind the words, he always looked like he was away in his own world. Off stage, and particularly later in his career, I admired him for his honesty when talking about his struggles with addiction and mental health. He was talking openly about these issues long before it was the norm.

Sinéad O’Connor was another original soul who, because of her talent, was catapulted into a music industry consumed by artificiality; she was almost too pure for it all. I always admired her unwavering commitment to her beliefs. Her authenticity was evident in every aspect of her artistry. The way she unapologetically embraced her shaved head and boy-ish style, she challenged conventional opinions around beauty. Her music reflected her personal struggles and she never shied away from addressing issues of social injustice, religion, and gender equality. Her stances often drew criticism and controversy, but she always remained true to herself.

Shane MacGowan will always be remembered for his unfiltered nature, and while the lyrics of many songs were dark and gritty, there was also an element of empathy and compassion in what he wrote. Like Christy, he too struggled with addiction and mental health issues throughout his career. While his demons sometimes spilled over into the public eye, his honesty and vulnerability just endeared him even more to us Irish.

So isn’t it apt in a year we lost three great musicians, the word of 2023 happens to be the one undeniable trait that they all shared. Thank you Christy, Sinead and Shane for showing us that authenticity is not just about being different to everyone else; but also about possessing the courage to challenge the established, to question the norms, and to keep going, even when the going gets tough.


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